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Ratings versus Censorship (The Big Picture, Last Update Oct 2003)

…During a radio talk show, I was pitted against Mr. Jeremiah Gutman, the co-chair of the National Coalition Against Censorship. Involved for decades with First Amendment cases and other issues of individual rights, this New York lawyer has had a hand in many pivotal points of legal decisions regarding freedom…

The Heartland Film Festival (The Big Picture, Last Update Sep 2003)

…Where “Truly Moving Pictures” Reign   If you’ve ever considered going to a film festival, but have been worried you may find material that stretches the envelope beyond your comfort zone, - Heartland may be a great one to check out.

Popularizing Pornography (The Big Picture, Last Update Sep 2003)

…Two young twenty-something guys write an entertainment editorial in our local newspaper. A couple of weeks ago, their column happily trumpeted the headline “Porn Star Ball Makes Stop At City Club.”

File Swapping: Dangers You May Not Know About (The Big Picture, Last Update Aug 2003)

…If you have teens and an Internet connection in your home, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of strange words such as Gnutella, KaZaA, Morpheus, Grokster and the like. These are monikers given to software programs that allow “peer-to-peer” file sharing. In English, that means the ability to swap files…

U of Michigan Confirms: Sex and Violence Don’t Sell (The Big Picture, Last Update Aug 2003)

…I recently covered a sexually charged television advertising campaign’s failure to sell beer. Shortly after filing the story, I discovered a recently released study from the University of Michigan that may provide more reasons than ever before for advertisers to avoid violent and sexual television content.

If Sex Can’t Sell Beer, Why Is TV Still Hooked On It? (The Big Picture, Last Update Aug 2003)

…In 2003, Miller Brewing began a series of ads that got far more response than they expected. Titled “Cat Fight,” the spots featured a couple of impossibly breasted women ripping each other’s clothes off as they fought over conflicting positive traits of Miller Lite.

Is Disney Sailing Into Rough Waters? (The Big Picture, Last Update Jul 2003)

…Disney’s theatrical release, Pirates of the Caribbean, has everything you would expect: Swashbuckling adventure, sword fights, a villain, and a fair maiden. But this movie has made Disney history because of something you wouldn’t suspect: it’s the studio’s first PG-13 release.

Chocolate Covered Movies (The Big Picture, Last Update Jun 2003)

…With Universal Studios’ The Hulk recently unleashed on theater screens, parents are dealing with the mixture of marketing and mayhem left in the wake of his path of fictional destruction. From minivans to Slurpees, it appears Marvel Comics and Universal Studios have left no licensing stone unturned.

Thanks To The FCC, Your Kids Need To Be Even Smarter (The Big Picture, Last Update Jun 2003)

…It’s a clichéd phrase: Our children are the leaders of tomorrow. But if we really believe that, we need to teach them some important media skills today – thanks to changes put forth by the FCC.

Television Addiction – Just Say “Off” (The Big Picture, Last Update May 2003)

…I was trained at a young age to worship television. It was the center of our home, akin to a shrine. From within the wooden box, a powerful force seemed to pull our small family of three toward it. Our day didn’t begin before the set was turned on, and…

Video Games – Dangers Are More Complex (The Big Picture, Last Update May 2003)

…An 18-year-old relates the moment when he met the girl he currently dates…    “It happened quite as chance, we happened just to see each other near the POD lift in Gfay, and started talking. Eventually things became more involved…”1

The Reality Plague Hits Theaters (The Big Picture, Last Update May 2003)

…Today I sat through 90 minutes of reality entertainment that left me convinced there are far too many dollars in the pockets of people who have nothing to do, because unlike Reality TV The Real Cancun is a Reality movie.

Canadian Parents Unplug Naked News (The Big Picture, Last Update Apr 2003)

…Imagine a sixty-minute newscast with no news footage – only anchor people reading news copy, weather reports, and sports scores. Sound boring? Now imagine the same thing, only naked.

Advertising: A Star Is Manufactured (The Big Picture, Last Update Mar 2003)

…It seems anytime there’s a chance a human being will be waiting for more than a moment in a particular spot, someone will position an ad message in that very place. After noticing pitches for ice cream confections on gas pump handles in my city last year, I’m waiting for…

Searching for the Ultimate BIG Screen (The Big Picture, Last Update Feb 2003)

…I settled into my seat for yet another media screening of a new movie – something I do as often as four times a week. But this one had me waiting in rapt anticipation because it was the IMAX movie – MacGillivray Freeman’s Coral Reef Adventure.

Use Pause to Reflect (The Big Picture, Last Update Feb 2003)

…My family was rooted to their spots like trees. Was this the same group of people I had just spent eight grueling, bickering hours traveling with? Wasn’t it everything the seat belts could do to contain those squirming bodies? Yet here they stood frozen, just inside the hotel room with…

Family Technology – The TV Guardian (The Big Picture, Last Update Feb 2003)

…“Family Technology” reports feature reviews of various gadgets that can enhance or assist parents with their family media experience. Chances are good that at some point you have viewed a movie that leaves you saying, “What a great film, but why did they include all that bad language?” It appears…

Obscene? Indecent? It’s Up To You to Say So (The Big Picture, Last Update Jan 2003)

…Being a single voice for better quality media is a lonely job. But then so is being a security guard on a night shift. The big difference is the security guard rarely has strangers who, after learning of his occupation, start their next sentence with, “Why don’t you do something…

Helping Parents Avoid Heart Attacks (The Big Picture, Last Update Dec 2002)

…You can hardly glance at a magazine or newspaper without seeing an article written by someone sincerely concerned about the health of people’s hearts. Researchers have devoted huge amounts of resources to develop new drugs, foods, and lifestyle suggestions with the hopes of lowering the number of heart attacks in…

Coming Up To Steam With Harry (The Big Picture, Last Update Jun 2002)

…There’s an old story about putting a frog in a pot of water and setting it on the stove. Supposedly, as the temperature slowly rises, the frog’s body will adjusts, until eventually the little creature cooks to death. Unaware the water is becoming increasingly hotter, the frog doesn’t realize it’s…

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